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See detailThe effects of physical activity on emotion regulation in adolescents
Ouzzahra, Yacine UL; Vögele, Claus UL; Mata, Jutta

Scientific Conference (2016, February 27)

A growing body of evidence suggests an important contribution of physical activity to psychological well-being. While much of this research has focused on mood, less is known regarding emotion regulation ... [more ▼]

A growing body of evidence suggests an important contribution of physical activity to psychological well-being. While much of this research has focused on mood, less is known regarding emotion regulation. The present study investigated acute and chronic effects of exercise on responses to emotional stimuli in adolescents. Male and female students (N=40) aged 15-18 years participated in a two conditions, repeated-measures, fully counterbalanced design. In the first part of each session heart rate, electrodermal activity, respiration rate and heart rate variability were continuously recorded during a 10-min baseline. This was followed by a previously validated anger-provoking video-clip lasting 2-6 minutes. Participants rated the level of arousal and discrete emotions they experienced in response to the clip. The second part of the experiment consisted of a 30 minutes intervention period (rest or stationary cycling), immediately followed by another video-clip and questionnaire. The ongoing data analysis consists of (1) comparisons between conditions (acute effects) and (2) analyses of covariance regarding the physiological changes in response to the emotional stimuli, with participants’ fitness level used as a covariant (chronic effects). Preliminary results indicate that in the exercising condition, participants reported significantly lower levels of arousal, anxiety, anger, surprise and disgust, compared with the resting condition (p≤0.05). In contrast, fear, shame, sadness, and calmness did not differ between conditions. Further analyses will reveal whether participants’ physical fitness and heart rate variability had an impact on their physiological and psychological reactivity to the negative emotional stimuli. [less ▲]

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